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The city of Mitchell has settled for an undisclosed amount with three former Palace Transit drivers who claimed they were victims of age and disability discrimination. The three plaintiffs -- James Nichols, 55, John Robertson, 58, and Curtis Dumas, 57 -- each filed a lawsuit last year against the city. In September 2011, the three lawsuits were combined into one case. Attorneys for the city and three former drivers reached an agreement after they met in mediation Nov. 19 in Sioux Falls.
Davison County State's Attorney Pat Smith is the first Democrat to be appointed a South Dakota circuit judge by Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the first Democrat to receive such an appointment in 15 years. Daugaard announced he had chosen Smith, who has been state's attorney since 1998, to become the newest judge in South Dakota's First Judicial Circuit. Smith will fill the position vacated in July when Judge Sean O'Brien retired. "Gov. Daugaard never even asked me about my political affiliation," Smith said.
A federal judge has chosen not to appoint an attorney to represent a man serving time in prison for an assault in September 2011 outside a bar in downtown Mitchell in a lawsuit that arose as a result of the attack. William Watkins, 35, was sentenced in February to 13 years in prison with five years suspended on one count of aggravated assault and was ordered to pay more than $650,000 in restitution for medical bills and other expenses for attacking Clint Dreyer, of Fargo, N.D., outside Thirsty's Bar. Dreyer suffered permanent brain injuries as a result of the beating. On Nov.
Only hours after a man took his own life Nov. 1 at a trailer home in eastern Mitchell, police uncovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia, firearms and ammunition inside the trailer and nearby vehicles. According to court documents filed Nov. 6, investigators conducted a search at 1:39 p.m. Nov. 1 at 1105 E. First Ave., No. 1, nearly six hours after 26-year-old T.J.
A federal judge has ruled the city of Mitchell violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it required three former Palace Transit bus drivers to take a physical exam normally meant for interstate truck drivers. In an order filed Nov. 9, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol granted summary judgment to three former Palace Transit drivers -- James Nichols, 55, John Robertson, 58, and Curtis Dumas, 57 -- on one claim contained in a lawsuit each filed last year accusing the city of Mitchell of age and disability discrimination.
WINNER -- Bryan Jorgensen is still hoping for rain, and he's definitely not alone. "For us, it's absolutely essential," he said. "Otherwise, we're not going to have a crop at all next year. Nothing." Jorgensen, 47, farms with his family's operation on land about 15 miles north of Winner. After enduring one of the hottest and driest summers in the state's history, the moisture in the family's 10,000 crop acres has all but completely evaporated, he said. "It's not unusual for us in the western part of the state to be hot and dry," he said.
When Veryl Hohn was 10 years old, he picked up his first accordion and learned to play, and in just a few years, the sound of his instrument was delighting dancers at local events. Now 74 years old, the Mitchell resident can still squeeze out a tune that can bring people to the dance floor. "I've been at it a long time," he said with a smile and a laugh. On Thursday, he and his accordion took the stage in front of about 300 seniors who attended Senior Day at the Moose Lodge in Mitchell. The event has traditionally been held the day before the Corn Palace Polka Festival, but
PIERRE -- A Plankinton woman's attorney told the state Supreme Court on Wednesday that testimony excluded from a malpractice trial unfairly damaged her case against a Mitchell doctor. Following a three-day trial last January in Mitchell, a jury rejected Bette Thompson's malpractice claim against orthopedic surgeon Chris Krouse and Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. Thompson and her attorney Casey Bridgman, of Wessington Springs, appealed the jury's decision.
Republican Bill Van Gerpen defeated longtime Democratic legislator Frank Kloucek in the District 19 race for Senate in Tuesday's election. Kloucek, 56, of Scotland, has been in the Legislature since 1991 and has served multiple terms in both the House and Senate. "For 22 years, we've had the honor of serving the people of District 19," Kloucek said.
LAKE ANDES -- The two men arrested after a high-speed chase Sept. 27 in Charles Mix and Douglas counties each pleaded not guilty to multiple charges Monday at the Charles Mix County Courthouse in Lake Andes. The driver, Jacob Abdo, 18, and his passenger, Michael Clark, 27, both of Mitchell, led law enforcement on an hour-and-15-minute pursuit through the two counties.